MacKay Hannah

Understanding Freeports Across the UK: driving regional growth, investment and innovation


Richard Ballantyne

Chief Executive, British Ports Association

Richard Ballantyne joined the British Ports Association in 2007 and became the Chief Executive in 2016.

He represents the BPA on a number of industry bodies and is a member of a wide range of government stakeholder groups and international committees.

Richard has in-depth expertise in ports, transport and environmental policy matters as well as a wide experience of the legislative process around the UK.

He is a Director of Maritime UK, a Trustee of the Merchant Navy Welfare Board charity and was previously a Director of Port Skills and Safety Ltd.

Before joining the BPA Richard spent five years at a Westminster political consultancy and was previously an MP’s researcher in the House of Commons.



Tom White

Maritime and Ports Lead, Connected Places Catapult

Tom is the Maritime and Ports Lead at Connected Places Catapult, with a focus on digitalisation and clean maritime working with the public sector, academia and industry partners. Tom is a member of the IET and holds a BSc (hons) in Environment, having experience across the maritime, defence, manufacturing and engineering sectors through previous positions at Rolls-Royce and Lloyd’s Register in innovation, clean maritime, materials science, autonomous ships, cyber security and digital twins/analytics for connected assets.


Alison Young

Global and Investment Export Specialist, Connected Places Catapult

Alison is currently a Global Export and Investment Specialist with the Connected Places Catapult, focusing on FDI into the UK around Smart Cities and mobility. She has spent the last six years living and working in the Middle East, with the Department for International Trade as a trade and investment advisor. Based first in Muscat, Oman, where she spent four years leading on a number of sectors, from Education to Infrastructure, followed by two and a half years in the UAE, based in Dubai, setting up the Technology and Smart Cities sector for DIT, with a core focus on AI and Fintech. She has lived and worked in over six different countries and has a degree in Russian Studies from the University of Edinburgh. She is currently involved in projects looking at ways to support more investment into innovation around the built environment and mobility in the UK.


Ibrahim Mohamed

Director, Gateway Capital Investments Ltd; and Infrastructure Trade & Investment - Freeports Advisor

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Sheena Stewart, Argyll and Bute Council,
Delegate at ACES 2016